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Download the latest briefing: Briefing Notes on The Government’s Draft Regulations and Guidance (July 2018)
Pupils in both primary and secondary schools are frequently exposed to explicit, provocative presentations of sexual activity in sex and relationships education (SRE).
At primary school children as young as five years old are taught to identify their sexual organs. As children move up through the primary school they are given visual presentations of sexual intercourse; either as animations, pictures or written descriptions. Children are told that masturbation is a natural part of growing up, as well as seeing live films of childbirth.
At secondary school the emphasis is on how to access and use contraception. A typical presentation for secondary school pupils is how to use a condom using an anatomical model. Many schools have "confidential clinics" where pupils can be given abortion and contraception advice without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
The role of parents
Anti-life lobbying groups promote this approach to SRE on the grounds that this will drive down teenage pregnancies and keep children safe. There is no evidence that graphic classroom sex education achieves either of these.
Safe at School promotes a different approach to sex education: Parents are the primary educators of their children in sexual matters. It is the role of parents to talk about the intimate details of human sexuality to their own children in the privacy of their home. Schools have a role in supporting an encouraging parents in this important part of their child's upbringing.
Safe at School has published guidelines for teaching SRE in primary schools, which you can download here (scroll down).
Keeping children safe
The SPUC Safe at School campaign exists to support and advise parents who want to protect their children from inappropriate sexual content in the classroom. We are at the forefront of the campaign to keep SRE a non-compulsory subject.
SPUC Safe at School believes that graphic sex education in school contributes to the sexualisation of children and teenagers. In addition, when schools teach children about sex, parental authority on this matter is undermined.
Although teenage pregnancies are falling, there is nothing to indicate that this is due to classroom sex education. Despite this downward trend, too many unmarried teenage girls become pregnant each year and many end in the tragedy of abortion.
Please contact Antonia Tully on:
Phone: 020 8407 3463
If you would like to be more directly involved in this campaign, particularly if you are a teacher, parent or governor, please get in touch with us via this form.
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